Taking the mouth harp to the dance floor.
There is a wonderful subsection of tribal music that embraces electronica in an attempt to elevate the trance-like feelings that rhythms can provide. Astralseid is a duo who do this to create a mirage of dark folk and beats to really hone in on that trippy feeling. ‘Shamanic Love’ is their new release and they say their music is designed to make you dance naked around a bonfire. Well, as I’m lockdown, I danced in my pants around my Himalayan salt lamp instead. Needs must.
The title track leads the EP off in epic style with tribal vocals brewing and bubbling up over the mouth-harp. The mouth-harp is a constant across the album that works in this music like a wiry synth would in trance music – its really quite fun to feel the warble and rhythm. Then the drums kick in along with cavernous synths and empty atmospheric sounds. The shamanic vocals continue through the album as ‘Skydance’ embraces the synthier side of their work. With bigger beats and lots of plinky keyboard samples that swap frequencies like a drainpipe, it is the shamanic cries of Gustav and Rúnahild that become the foundation of the music. It feels so primal but also like a bop too. ‘Liberty’ focuses on the mouth-harp and its aggressive kick drums. The mouth-harp is given reverb to make it feel like a floating wave of mystical energy too which is a great addition too. The album closes with ‘Awakening’ which combines everything that has come before it in a more spacious mystic vibe.
Whilst Astralseid make songs that feel a bit repetitive and quite similar in style to each other, it is to induce that state of mind where you let go and give in to your primal urges. The singing and instrumentation absolutely nail this and with each song being 10 minute epics, you can really get into the mood of what Astralseid is going for. Bring up a hypnotic screen saver or play SoundSelf on VR and let this music take you over. I’m fascinated to see what the duo does in the future.
Recommended track: Shamanic Love
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